December 3, 2008
We've always thought that grinders don't get the respect they deserve. We see them as sort of an all-purpose material remover, and it doesn't matter if that material is metal, stone, or wood. For as useful as they are, it's a shame that they've stayed mostly in the hands of contractors. Maybe we're wrong, but as far as what we've witnessed with our own eyes, there aren't that many DIYers with grinders.
Along these lines, we just heard that The Australian company Arbortech, known for their fantastic AS160 brick and mortar saw has released two attachments for a the grinder which will hopefully make more people look twice at this great tool.
The first attachment is a Power Chisel and it's exactly what it sounds like. The following video shows it in action and its wood removing power is impressive.
The second attachment is a Mini-Grinder and this little guy looks like it can really do some damage. The video for this one shows it in very delicate and precise situations, but we'd wager that it could come in handy in all sorts of building situations.
According to Arbortech, the attachments fit on most 4" and 4-1/2" grinders and can be installed within minutes. The attachments can be purchased as stand-alones or with a grinder. Not surprisingly, there is about a $100 price difference.
We checked out the Amazon reviews and we ran across one guy who had some problems getting the mini grinder to fit on his DeWalt. We then checked the Arbortech site for details on this and found that this can be a bit tricky. If you're interested in these tools and want to buy them as attachments for an existing grinder, you should go here and see if you'll need any adapters and what kind.
Power Chisel (without tool) at Amazon.com
Power Chisel (with tool) at Amazon.com
Mini-Grinder (without tool) at Amazon.com
Mini-Grinder (with tool) at Amazon.com
October 22, 2008
We pity anyone who doesn't understand the glories of the RotoZip. It's sort of the younger, crazier brother of the laminate trimmer. But even though it's such a great tool, we've always had two complaints about the tool; we rip through blades like they were tissue paper, and the dust can be extreme.
There have been moves on the first front, with the release of the XBits a few years ago, and now, to address our second issue, we see that RotoZip has released a Dust Extraction Adapter Kit. The look of it is simple enough, just a plastic sheath that sits over the bit while it does its work, and a 1-1/4" hose adapter to suck all the dust away.
The kit sells for about $16, which isn't much when you think of the time spent sweeping up the mess you just made.
May 8, 2008
People who cut crown molding all the time make it look easy, and after you commit a few tricks to memory, it pretty much is. But if you're not familiar with the concepts behind it, it can get frustrating. And it's that particular type of frustration that really gets to the center of your head. Sort of like when your lawnmower won't start.
To help head-off this unique form of deep-seated rage, Bench Dog has released the Crown-Cut, a cool looking crown molding jig that fits on any miter saw 10" and larger. There are two main components to it; the crown stabilizers and the guide. The stabilizers are adjustable pieces that hold the crown in the correct position for the cut, and the guide, printed on the vertical face of the Crown-Cut, is nothing less than a one-stop reference for cutting crown. With helpful diagrams for cutting inside and outside corners, and likely eliminates the first 30 minutes of mistakes and mock-ups. The vertical face also has three adjustable risers that can give support to crown up to 6" wide
There are two models available; one made of polymer plastic and one made of Baltic Birch. The wood version is $40 and the plastic one is $30. There might be some durability differences, but it probably comes down to aesthetic preference.
Wood Crown-Cut at Amazon.com
Plastic Crown-Cut at Amazon.com
April 15, 2008
A lot of the tool world is dominated by the likes of Bosch, Ryobi, DeWalt, Milwaukee, and the other big name tool manufacturers. There's no doubt that they make some great tools, but we always like it when some little company produces a tool that runs so far ahead of the pack that it could only be the product of a small group of single minded people. Sawtooth Specialty Tools' SawHelper Ultrafence is like that. It's a very unique miter saw stand and ever since we first caught wind of it a few years back we haven't yet heard a single negative thing about it.
Continue reading: "SawHelper Ultrafence Portable Miter Saw Stand"
March 17, 2008
If you've ever wondered what would happen if you crossed a circular saw and a chain saw...well you're apparently not the first. Seems that the R&D department of Prazi beat you to it with their Beam Cutter.
It's an attachment for your circular saw (available in worm drive and direct drive), that allows you to cut lumber up to 12" thick. It could also be good for cutting multiple stair treads simultaneously, depending on how accurate the Beam Cutter is.
It apparently attaches to your saw in under a minute and then it's off to the races. They also say it can handle up to a 45 degree blade angle.
Although we're sure there are plenty of safety mechanisms in place, the thing still looks about as dangerous as a tool can get.
The Beam Cutter for the worm drive saw costs about $125 and the one for direct drive is closer to $150. You make the call if it's worth it.
Worm drive Beam Cutter at Amazon.com
Direct drive beam cutter at Amazon.com
February 29, 2008
Bosch has just released a little kit that's an 'all in one' for installing Tapcons. It comes in a case and includes:
- Masonry Screw Drill Bit Holder
- Allen wrench
- Drill Bit Sleeve
- 5/32" and 3/16" carbide drill bits (flat shank)
- Two magnetic nutsetters
- Two Phillips Head bits
We like the looks of this set because it's got everything in one place. Anyone who has ever installed a Tapcon probably already has all of these component parts, they're just scattered throughout two drill boxes, a bit index, and the bottom of your Jobox.
The Bosch Drilling and Anchor Kit retails for around $25, which is not a whole lot to pay for the convenience of knowing you won't have to take a trip to the hardware store to get that 3/16" drill bit that you're sure you have somewhere...
February 12, 2008
If you're like us you've got an army of battery chargers lined up at your jobsite or in your garage. You've got a Makita cordless drill, a DeWalt cordless recip saw, a Ryobi cordless circular saw, and you need to keep everything charged and ready to go. It's nice to have the tools but having so many chargers can be a real inconvenience. Someone else, someone smarter and business-minded, apparently had the same problem and so now a company called 10C has released the Crew Charge and Pro Charge.
In simple terms, they are multi-platform chargers, meaning they have the ability to charge all of your batteries no matter what brand they are. But in addition to this capability, the 10C chargers actually work better and faster (a full charge in 15 minutes) than the chargers that come with your tools. On the 10C website they refer to their technology as a 'low heat' charge using an 'internal microprocessor' and 'patented algorithms." We got confused by their science talk and just watched the video on their site, which shows that the 10C charger really beats out a standard charger as far as speed goes.
Continue reading: "10C Crew Charge and Pro Charge"
January 25, 2008
It really is impressive how much mileage Dremel has gotten out of, essentially, one tool. This is because of two things; first, their rotary tool is just about the best out there, and second, because the company does little else, they are able to devote a boatload of resources to making new attachments and accessories. Since each of these attachments alters the use of the tool, Dremel is constantly reinventing their rotary tool and finding new things that it can do. The latest and most involved of these is the Dremel Workstation. Part drill press, part tool stand, and part bench grinder.
Once your Dremel is fit into the drill press, it can bore holes up to two inches at angles between 0 and 90, in 15 degree increments. Like a full-sized drill press there is a depth stop as well as four clamping points to keep the unit stable while you work.
With the tool attached and completely horizontal, the stand also functions as a rotary tool holder, turning it into something of a bench grinder. This stabilizes the tool and frees up both of your hands for the really delicate work.
Continue reading: "Dremel 220-01 Workstation"
January 17, 2008
If you're a weekend DIYer who constantly yearns for that feel of flipping through your rolodex, you're torture is ended. Worx, the makers of the interesting Revolver series of tools, have combined the feel of office drudgery with the freedom of fixing something yourself.
Their unique Rolabit Drilling and Driving Set comes with 100 accessories and can be mounted on a wall. The accessories range from spade bits to masonry bits to a magnetic bit holder. If you need something on the go, the cassettes can be removed, giving you eight small, individualized bit holders.
The Rolabit Set sells for around $50. It's a good price for what you get, but first you have to make sure you want the office vibe sitting on your garage workbench.
September 25, 2007
The blade guards that come with table saws are junk and everyone knows it. They are awkward, a drag to remove for rabbets, and they prohibit the rip fence from getting anywhere close to the blade. No one we know uses theirs, but it doesn't take a genius to realize that using a table saw without a blade guard increases your chances of becoming known as "Old Eight Fingers."
So what are we supposed to do? Not everyone can just run out and drop $1500 on the new SawStop jobsite saw, the most freakishly safe saw on the planet (see our buddies over at Toologics for more info on that one). What about those of us who can barely scratch together $500 For a Bosch or DeWalt? Well, we were reading the latest Fine Homebuilding and we see the answer in the future.
Continue reading: "New Bosch/DeWalt Table Saw Guards"